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Should an immigration solicitor stop representing you?

Immigration solicitors are governed by rules and regulations that state what they can and can’t do.  These rules include a requirement that they must not bring the profession into disrepute and they must act with integrity.  The Solicitors Regulation Authority tend to come down hard on firms and individuals that breach the code of conduct and rules. 

There are some rules that appear to conflict with other Rules.  For example, a solicitor must act in the best interests of their clients, but also must act with integrity.  What if because of the circumstances of the case, these requirements clash? Well, some requirements are more important than others and, in this instance, the solicitor should act with integrity.

When should an immigration solicitor stop representing you?

There are times when an immigration solicitor, therefore, must stop representing you, due to the information you have told the solicitor.  For example, if you come to an immigration solicitor and you tell the solicitor that you want to make an application to the Home Office based on a marriage that is not genuine and has been formed in order to gain an immigration advantage, or if you want to send a document to the Home Office that is a fraudulent document.  In these instances, the immigration solicitor should, usually, end your client/ solicitor relationship.  Although there are a number of reported instances of immigration solicitors not doing this and facing sanctions from the Solicitor Regulation Authority.

The 3 most common reasons immigration solicitors stop representations

The most common reasons that an immigration solicitor must stop representing you are as follows:

Number 3

Your solicitor is already representing someone with a competing interest.  This could, for example, be if they are representing a former partner of yours. 

Number 2

You tell the solicitor that you are using a false document and you wish to submit it to the Home Office.  An immigration solicitor cannot knowingly submit a false document and state that it is a genuine one.  They should immediately terminate your contract with them. 

Number 1

You tell the solicitor that you are lying, but you maintain that it is the untrue version that you wish to put to the Home Office.  In this case, an immigration solicitor should terminate your contract and stop representing you.  You can instruct a new advisor in this instance, however, you should be aware that it is unlawful to lie to the Home Office and if the lie is discovered by the Home Office is very likely to negatively affect any claim you make.

Can my solicitor report me to the police?

It is worth noting that your immigration solicitor will not be under any duty to inform the police, the Tribunal or the Home Office about any aspect of your case.  Nor will they be under any duty to inform the Home Office or Court about the reasons for stopping representing you.  This is because to do so would breach their duty of confidentiality to their client. 

In respect of a report to the police:  A solicitor can report what you say to the police if that includes a threat to commit a criminal offence.  A solicitor would normally not be able to disclose information to the police that included an admission that you had previously committed an offence.  For example, if a client made a threat that they were going to kill their ex-partner, then a solicitor should report this to the police.  If a client made an admission that they had killed their ex-partner, then a solicitor should not disclose this information to the police.  In some instances, for example where there is a suspicion that the client has been involved in money laundering, then the solicitor may have a duty to report this to the relevant authorities. 

Why choose Westin?

Westkin Associates prides itself on its ethics, transparency and confidentiality.

We provide you with the legal representation you deserve and continue stand by our clients through trying times.

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